Southern Black Sea coast
This time the trip starts from one of the (almost) most southern points of Bulgaria – Ahtopol and the not unknown lighthouse – one of the most photographed places during a storm. To my delight, this time the weather was sunny, still mid-summer.
I head north and the first stop is the Thracian sanctuary Beglik Tash. The road to here goes along the coast. Steep rocks and some of the most beautiful beaches on our southern Black Sea coast alternate. Such is the beach of the former government residence “Pearl”, from where begins a slight climb to the highest part of Cape Beglik Tash. This is also the place where the Thracian sanctuary of the same name is located. The road becomes narrow and turns into a gravel road.
It covers an area of 6 decares. The territory on which it is located is forest, it was part of the hunting residence of the former communist head of state Todor Zhivkov (ruled 1954-1989). It is for this reason that one of the greatest discoveries about the Thracian history of our Southern Black Sea coast and Strandzha remained unknown to science until 2003.
The entrance to the sanctuary is from the southwest. A rocky path leads to a stone “marriage bed”. Two sacrificial stones surround the bed. They have carved deep baths connected with gutters for pouring ritual liquids: wine, milk, olive oil, rainwater. Next is a stone throne, from which cut deep grooves and intersecting lines, gathering in a large quadrangular “sharapana”. The eastern part of the circle is occupied by three “menhirs” (large rounded stones). At the top of the highest of them is carved a “divine step” with a length of 0.6 m and a width of 0.34 m. The same “divine step” can be found at the opposite southern point, at the foot of the rock terrace. Divine footsteps mark the innermost sacred space, designated only for those initiated to participate in the mysteries.
So far, the central site of the sanctuary is the best studied. It is slightly elevated above the surrounding terrain and in it are located in a circle with a diameter of 56 m rock elements that were used to perform rituals. They have retained their natural look, but have been moved and reshaped by human hands with characteristic sacred symbols and signs.
Behind them are an astronomical clock made of 16 flat round stones and a huge dolmen representing the “sacred cave” where the mother goddess gives birth to her son, the Sun God, and the “labyrinth” – the path of trial.
Since I don’t like big cities, especially at the time when they are most visited, I go straight to Cape Emine.
Before that, however, another stop follows. The Aviation Museum near Burgas. It is located on the main road Bourgas-Varna, right at the entrance of the airport. The museum has 9 aircraft, each of which during its operation was part of the fleet of BGA-Balkan. The interior of the planes has been somewhat restored and some of the original equipment from the time they flew can be seen.
Cape Emine is the place where the European pedestrian route E-3 ends, the Bulgarian part of which is the route “Kom – Emine”.
Emine is an almost vertical 60-meter cliff, surrounded by hundreds of underwater rocks, scattered into the sea more than 250 meters.
The last kilometers are again a dirt road, and the cape itself cannot be reached, as there is a military facility there.
North of the cape is the protected area Irakli and the eponymous beach and campsite. Great place for a lunch break or to spend the night.
This is the place that divides the Bulgarian coast on the North and South Black Sea coast.
To be continued...